Mergers & Acquisitions: Apple Joins the List of Hulu’s Suitors, Bristol-Myers Makes a Buy
Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) might be making a bid for the Hulu online video service owned by Disney (NYSE:DIS), News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA), and Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA). Hulu would give Apple a subscription service to compete with Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX). Hulu’s owners have agreed to give its buyer a five-year extension of program rights, including two years of exclusive access. Hulu’s price tag is expected to exceed $2 billion.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE:BMY) will acquire privately held Amira Pharmaceuticals Inc. in an all-cash transaction that offers an upfront purchase price of $325 million plus potential milestone payments that could add another $150 million to that price. The San Diego-based Amira is working on drugs that would treat inflammatory and fibrotic diseases.
Books-A-Million Inc. (NASDAQ:BAMM) has submitted a bid to acquire 30 Borders Inc. locations, including inventory, fixtures, equipment, and leasehold interests. Books-A-Million, a Birmingham, Alabama-based book retailer with 231 stores in 23 states and the District of Columbia, plans to continue operations at those 30 stores, pending court approval.
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The U.S. Treasury sold its remaining 6% stake in the Chrysler Group to Italian automaker Fiat (PINK:FIATY) yesterday for $560 million. Fiat now has a majority share in the company. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is expected to announced a unified management structure for the two companies, making it unlikely Chrysler will have its own public offering. Marchionne has a combined profit target of 100 billion euros by 2014. Marchionne hopes to revamp Chrysler to establish Fiat as a global player.
A bid made by Australian pay-TV company Foxtel — in which News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA) has a 25% stake — for rival Austar is expected to be blocked by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in September. A preliminary finding of the ACCC has the deal creating a pay-TV monopoly in Australia. ACCC chairman Graeme Samuel insists that the committee’s decision has nothing to do with News Corp.’s recent phone-hacking scandal.